Street Lighting Repair

Why is no one repairing the street lights at Hunts Grove?   This was one of the first issues on HGRA’s list when founded in 2017….. and here we are three years later ?

This post is connected with our two other posts this week on adoption and verges maintenance, so rather than repeating a lot of the same material, please read this along with those two posts.

Long Story Short

After trying for these three years to get Crest Nicholson to fix the street lights, and making some headway with their management, we are left with the outcome that (for whatever reason) they don’t want to do it!   This led us to escalate the issue to the County Council, look at the adoption status (as once adopted the lights would be properly maintained by the council), and quantify the scale of the problem ourselves.

What’s The Scale of The Problem?

Hunts Grove Failed Street Lights

Armed with many messages from residents about failed lights we wanted to fully understand what we are dealing with and exactly map out the situation.  As detailed below, the issue is different depending on which phase you are talking about, therefore we decided to do a full survey of Phase 1 initially.

22 Failed Street Lights Out of 95

The evening of 29th June 2020, four of us from HGRA were out wandering the streets mapping every street light and noting whether it was working or faulty.  It’s a sad way to spend a summers evening, but had to be done.

This survey resulted in a plan and report, here they are:

Different Issues on Different Phases

By examining the residents complaints, and looking at the lighting installed, it is clear that the issues are of a different scale and nature between Phase 1 and subsequent phases:

  • Phase 2 and 3 are only a couple of years old and all lighting installed there is automatically the newer LED technology.  LED is inherently higher performance and much more reliable;
  • Phase 1 lighting was installed mostly 8-10 years ago and is based on older Sodium lamp technology that comes with its issues if it isn’t maintained…. flickering lights, lights that warm up, fail and come back on, or complete failure.  For example, many of the complaints we have received (and residents also sent to Crest) are where flickering lights outside bedroom windows are causing sleep issues;
  • Phase 2 & 3 complaints tend to be that lights have been installed, but not yet connected.  This is the nature of building sites though.  Also, there haven’t been many complaints from Phase 2 & 3 in the past year, so it was perhaps a problem initially, but not now;

The Current Status

As mentioned on our two other posts this week, HGRA & Parish Councillors escalated this issue to our County Councillor, Cllr Stephen Davies, for assistance to see if the County Council could advise on the status and maybe resolve the faults.

The council team have been very helpful and with Cllr Davies help we have contacts now in the departments responsible.  Unfortunately, until the roads are adopted, the council is not in a position to fix the issues.  Also, there are no legal means for residents or the local authority to compel Crest Nicholson to resolve the issues if they don’t want to.

So, that brings us back to the adoption status.  We understand that Phase 1 is close to adoption as some of the blocking issues were resolved back in February.  Everything stopped due to the lockdown and Covid-19, however now should pick up again.

The County Council team confirmed that prior to adoption, the developer must verify that all lighting is functional and in fact complies to the latest County Council standard.  This means that all street lights on Phase 1 must be upgraded to LED.

The County Council forwarded the HGRA plan and report to Crest Nicholson along with the technical specification for the replacement lights.   The report raises some additional questions and of course we want to understand the timeline for adoption now as that will resolve all the issues.  HGRA will raise this to the new Hunts Grove Parish Council and also feedback to Cllr Davies for assistance on these final points.

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  1. One thing to be aware of is that phase 2 lights have backlighting despite Crest assuring us they don’t. The effect is the same as if a strong spotlight is shone through our bedroom window. We have a blind, black out blind on the window and blackout curtains to manage this! We were told the lights would time overnight but they don’t do this either.

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